February 8, 2014

College Wraparound: UVM finishes big road sweep

By Joshua Kummins

Freshman goaltender Mike Santaguida finished off Vermont's weekend sweep of UNH on Saturday. (Photo: Brian Jenkins/UVM Athletics)

A pair of charging Hockey East squads finished off solid road weekends on Saturday night, vaulting further into satisfactory playoff position heading into the final few weeks of the regular season.

The No. 19 Vermont Catamounts (15-9-3, 7-7-0) were the lone team to complete a sweep, earning all four points from the No. 20 New Hampshire Wildcats (16-15-1, 8-8-0) after a 2-1 win at the Whittemore Center Arena.

Senior Pete Massar (Williston, Vt.) and freshman Mario Puskarich scored in the second period to lift UVM to its fourth win in the last five games, which moved it just a point shy of idle Providence and to an even .500 record in league play before welcoming No. 2 Boston College into Burlington’s Gutterson Field House for a pair of key contests next weekend.

Vermont held a slim 30-29 shots advantage in the game, including a 25-15 edge in the opening two stanzas, and has led in that mark in each of its last 11 contests since a Dec. 28 win over Clarkson.

Freshman Mike Santaguida earned his fourth win in as many starts and tenth overall this season with an excellent 28-save effort for the Catamounts.

Nick Sorkin scored the only goal of the night for the Wildcats 11:40 into the second period, which cut UVM’s lead in half at the time. The senior centerman from Maryland posted two assists in Friday’s 5-2 setback, snapping a two-game stretch without scoring points.

UMass Lowell 5, Massachusetts 3

The seventh-ranked River Hawks (19-7-3, 9-4-2 Hockey East) picked up their eighth straight victory in the Alumni Cup series, thanks to a three-point night from sophomore Michael Fallon at Mullins Center. Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves for UML, which has not lost to the rival Minutemen (8-17-4, 4-9-3) since Nov. 19, 2011. Freshman Ray Pigozzi and senior Adam Phillips each posted a goal and an assist for UMass, which defeated Northeastern on Friday night in Boston, in the defeat.

Notre Dame 3, Maine 2

Freshman Cam Brown (Natick, Mass.) and sophomore Ben Hutton each scored goals, but the Black Bears (13-10-3, 7-5-2 Hockey East) surrendered two goals to Bryan Rust in the final 70 seconds of regulation and fell to the No. 18 host Irish (16-12-1, 5-9-1) at Compton Family Ice Arena. Senior Martin Ouellette made double-digit saves in each period for Maine, finishing with 39.

St. Lawrence 3, Quinnipiac 2

The Saints (11-14-3, 5-8-3) pulled off a stunner in ECAC play at TD Bank Sports Center to complete a four-point weekend, scoring twice in the third period to down the third-ranked Bobcats (20-5-5, 10-3-3). For QU, sophomore Matthew Peca scored his tenth goal of the season, third of the weekend and 11th point in six games at 18:10 of the first period.

Union 5, Yale 3

Yale (12-7-4, 7-6-3 ECAC Hockey) had a 2-1 lead early in the second after markers by freshman Mike Doherty (Reading, Mass.) and senior Kenny Agostino, but the No. 13 Bulldogs surrendered the next four goals and could not catch up in defeat to the fourth-ranked team in the nation at Messa Rink.

Rensselaer 4, Brown 1

In RPI’s famed “Big Red Freakout” game at Houston Field House, senior Dennis Robertson tallied the lone goal for the visiting Bears (9-11-3, 6-9-1 ECAC Hockey) in a third consecutive defeat.

Bentley 4, Connecticut 1

The Falcons (14-10-4, 12-5-4 Atlantic Hockey) jumped out to a three-goal lead after one period in an excellent bounce-back effort against the rival UConn Huskies (14-9-4, 12-6-3) at John A. Ryan Skating Arena in Watertown, Mass. Senior captain Jared Rickord scored a goal and contributed two assists for the victors, while Branden Komm made 33 saves.

American International 5, Army 4 (OT)

Facing an early 2-0 deficit at Tate Rink in West Point, the visitors stormed back and senior left winger Jon Puskar’s winner 14 seconds into overtime lifted the Yellow Jackets (9-18-1, 8-12-1 Atlantic Hockey) to a weekend sweep of the Black Knights (3-22-0, 3-18-0).

Holy Cross 6, Sacred Heart 1

The Crusaders (8-17-3, 7-11-3 Atlantic Hockey) kept the offense turning as the night went on, finishing the night with a three-goal third period, four strikes on five power play chances and a shorthanded goal in an easy defeat of the Pioneers (8-20-0, 7-14-0) at Hart Recreation Center. Freshman Mike Barrett and senior Adam Schmidt each scored twice for the winners, while sophomore Matt Vidal had three assists. Justin Danforth scored the SHU goal.

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